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Tibetan Mastiff Lifespan: How Long Do Tibetan Mastiffs Live?

Tibetan Mastiffs have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years but can live up to 15 years. They often suffer from minor health problems, such as canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and hypothyroidism.

Tibetan Mastiffs have been living with humans for more than 2000 years. They are strong, loyal, and protective dogs. 

But, Tibetan Mastiffs, unfortunately, have one of the shortest life spans among dogs.  

In this article, we’ll talk about the average lifespan of Tibetan Mastiffs, what determines their lifespan, and much more.

What Is the Lifespan of a Tibetan Mastiff?

A Tibetan Mastiff can live from 10 to up to 15 years. Unsupported sources claim this breed can reach 16 years. With the right owners and training, Tibetan Mastiffs can live long, happy lives.

The average lifespan for large dog breeds is 8 to 12 years. Luckily, Tibetan Mastiffs live longer than that.

If you want your dog to live as long as possible, it is crucial to take care of it. Regular training, feeding schedules, and trips to the vet will certainly improve your dog’s lifespan.

Factors That Determine the Lifespan of Tibetan Mastiffs

The lifespan of a Tibetan Mastiff relies on many factors including health problems, size, and genetics. Tibetan mastiffs often suffer from medical issues due to their large size, reducing their lifespan.

Even when you take proper care of your dog, problems can still occur. The lifespan of a well-treated dog is affected by many factors:

  1. Medical issues
  2. Size
  3. Genetics

1. Medical Issues

Tibetan Mastiff Medical Issues

Like any other breed, Tibetan Mastiffs are predisposed to health problems. 

Here are some of the hereditary conditions that Tibetan Mastiffs often develop:

  • Hip Dysplasia/Elbow Dysplasia
  • Arthritis
  • Wobbler Syndrome
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Canine Inherited Demyelinative Neuropathy 

Hip Dysplasia/Elbow Dysplasia

These two conditions are similar. They originate from abnormal development. Tibetan Mastiffs are particularly exposed to this problem due to their fast growth. This health issue is manifested by the loosening of the hip or elbow joints. It can lead to difficulty with movement or pain.


This medical problem can be agonizing for Tibetan Mastiffs. It is a result of the stiffening and inflammation of joints. Unfortunately, it does not have a cure yet.

Wobbler Syndrome

This is a neurologic disease that affects the neck region of the spine. This particular condition usually causes neurologic disabilities, but luckily it can be treated.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy

This cardiovascular disease is among the most common problems developed by Tibetan Mastiffs. It occurs if the heart doesn’t pump enough blood through the body. This medical problem can be lethal for your dog.


Hypothyroidism occurs due to inflammation of the thyroid gland. To avoid more dangerous health problems, it must be treated fast.

Canine Inherited Demyelinative Neuropathy

This problem is caused by the deterioration of the fats that protect nerve fibers. It causes sensory impairments from which few dogs recover. [1]

2. Size

Tibetan Mastiff Size
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Research shows that large breeds have a shorter average lifespan compared to small breeds[2]. The bigger a dog is, the faster its body develops.

Because of its large size, a Tibetan Mastiff’s growth pace can cause damage to the gland responsible for its immune system.

Related: Tibetan Mastiff Size & Growth Chart

3. Genetics

The lifespan of Tibetan Mastiffs is also affected by their genetics. If possible, ask for details about your dog’s parents. They can pass to your Tibetan Mastiff certain health problems.

Talk to your breeder or someone specialized in this breed and try to determine how long your dog will live.

Tibetan Mastiff Life Cycle

Tibetan Mastiffs have three life stages:

  1. Puppy
  2. Adult
  3. Senior

If you notice significant differences between your dog’s age growth and what’s listed below, do not hesitate to consult your vet.

1. Puppy

Tibetan Mastiff Puppy

Tibetan Mastiffs are bred as guard dogs. They need an owner with experience and a talented trainer. If they are poorly raised, they can become aggressive.

2. Adult

When fully grown, a Tibetan Mastiff can reach over 100 lbs. Make sure you have plenty of space for such a big dog. This breed can live in an apartment with training.

3. Senior

As Tibetan Mastiffs age, they can develop specific health problems. Some are inherited and some aren’t. Consult both a breeder and a vet so you can avoid any diseases.

Most Common Causes of Death for Tibetan Mastiffs

Two of the most common causes of death for Tibetan Mastiffs are cancer and gastric torsion. These medical problems affect your dog in different ways. One acts slower, deteriorating your Tibetan Mastiff’s health over time, while the other can lead to death in a few hours.

Cancer is the cause of death for many dogs, especially late in their life. While it is impossible to prevent this disease, you can lengthen your dog’s life with the right medication. Complications can occur, depending on the treatment.[3]

Intervention/TreatmentPossible Side-Effects
Surgery to remove a tumor Infections
AnesthesiaNerve damage
Chemotherapeutic agentsKidney Failure

Gastric Torsion occurs when the stomach fills with air. It prevents blood and oxygen from circulating through the body. It is a medical emergency that must be treated as soon as possible. Without proper care, your dog can lose its life in a couple of hours.

Life-Threatening Health Issues Unique to Male Tibetan Mastiffs

Besides conditions such as CIDN, cancer, or arthritis, male Tibetan Mastiffs can develop diseases unique to their gender:

  • Prostate disorders
  • Testicular cancer
  • Cryptorchidism
  • Perianal fistula

These health issues occur in non-neutered males and most of them are difficult to treat. If you decide to neuter your dog, ask for a specialist’s opinion too. When done improperly, neutering can be a life-threatening intervention. Together with your vet, decide what is best for your male Tibetan Mastiff.

Life-Threatening Health Issues Unique to Male Tibetan Mastiffs
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Life-Threatening Health Issues Unique to Female Tibetan Mastiffs

Female Tibetan Mastiffs can suffer from certain medical issues that are exclusive to their sex. These are caused by hormonal changes or because the mammary glands of female dogs are more active. 

The health problems of female Tibetan Mastiffs can be prevented by spaying your dog. 

Here are some of the most common life-threatening problems unique to female mastiffs:

  • Infection on the uterus;
  • Infection of the pyometra;
  • Mastitis
  • Metritis

Be careful before spaying your female Tibetan Mastiff. If the surgery is done incorrectly, it can threaten your dog’s life. It also has several side effects, like a higher risk of obesity and hyperthyroidism.

How to Extend Your Tibetan Mastiff’s Lifespan

There are a few things you can do to lengthen your Tibetan Mastiff’s lifespan:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Exercise
  3. Socialization
  4. Research

1. Nutrition

Tibetan Mastiff Nutrition
Image Source

Nutrition is important because of the fast growth rate that occurs in your Tibetan Mastiff’s first years of life. Consult your vet and put together a perfectly balanced meal plan for your dog. 

If your dog is bloated, ask a specialist how to handle it and how to avoid it in the future. Make the proper diet changes during the adult and senior stages of your Tibetan Mastiff’s life.

2. Exercise

Physical stimulation is crucial for your Tibetan Mastiff’s life. Without exercise, your dog will not be able to gain mass. This will lead to joint diseases. 

During the puppy stage, practice certain types of exercises with your dog. Avoid running or any other demanding activities because they can cause health problems. Remember that the lack of physical activities is a cause of obesity.

3. Socialization

Tibetan Mastiff Socialization
Image Source

Tibetan Mastiffs are friendly dogs that get along quite fine with other breeds. Socialization is vital for your dog. It helps with releasing built-up stress and energy, which are dangerous for your dog’s health. 

When you let your Tibetan Mastiff socialize and play on its own, you also save your household from destructive behavior

4. Research

A Tibetan Mastiff is a part of a special breed that needs proper care and attention. LIfe-threatening issues to Tibetan Mastiffs are mostly medical issues. Because of this, owners of Tibetan Mastiffs have to know which symptoms are bad news and which aren’t.

Read thoroughly about this breed and learn as much as you can about it. Identify your dog’s problems and take them to the vet as soon as possible.


Tibetan Mastiffs live for 10 to 12 years on average. Due to their size, Tibetan Mastiffs look invincible. Despite their appearance, health problems and genetic conditions threaten their lives and shorten their lifespan. As an owner of a Tibetan Mastiff, you cannot do much once your dog is diagnosed with certain diseases.

Spend plenty of time with your dog and take care of it. This way, you can notice its symptoms in time. By asking for specialized help and researching the breed you can extend your Tibetan Mastiff’s lifespan.

About Iordache Cristina Maria

Cristina is a freelance writer, student, and animal enthusiast. While she learns about animals, she writes about how they behave, what they look like, and other facts that most people don't know about.

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